So now that we’ve established that God is a last minute God, takes you to the edge of what you think you can handle, and seems to generally want to make you lose your mind, but demonstrated we can trust Him every time without fail, I have something more to add.
I already mentioned Abraham in part 1. Once again, a quick run down of what happened: God told Abraham to kill Isaac. Abraham made the decision to obey even though, obviously, his heart was broken. Abraham took Isaac into the mountains to make an offering to God. When Isaac asked where the offering was, Abraham told him God would provide it. When they got there, Abraham tied Isaac to the altar and literally had the knife ready to plunge when an angel sent by God stopped the whole thing. (Genesis 22.)
So…okay. Different scenario. I’ll take one from my own life. God tells me to study medicine. I go after it 101% and do crazy classes I would normally not even look twice at. God tells me not to do medicine.
Did Abraham hear wrong the first time? Did God change His mind? Was there a glitch in the perfect plan? I think no. Not only does God test faith, which this still falls under, He also tests obedience. He wants us to do what He tells us, immediately, without question, and all out. There is no almost, maybe, or in between. There is no middle ground. There is no Switzerland. It’s all or nothing. God didn’t want Abraham to murder his kid; He wanted Abraham to be obedient, faithful, and trusting enough to be willing to do it if it’s what God required. Remember that killing Isaac represented much more than killing his son, although that’s already huge; it meant killing what God had promised him, that his descendants would be as numerous as the grains of sand. It’s the thing Abraham always wanted most, and now God was apparently taking it away from him.
God didn’t change His mind about what had to happen. It was never about that. It wasn’t even about God finding out how obedient Abraham could be, because obviously He knew that already. It was about Abraham being formed and disciplined and shaped into an obedient, faithful man of God.
I’m not saying I didn’t hear wrong about the medicine thing. I’m saying that we have to understand that even if it seems like we took a wrong turn somewhere or heard wrong or whatever, God’s perfect plan has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen. We give ourselves way too much credit when we think that our insignificant human decisions can throw a wrench in the works. God is so far above that. Yes, we make wrong decisions; but God knew they would happen, and He uses everything for good in the end.
So don’t get discouraged. There is nowhere that God is not; there is no place, no feeling, no emotion where you can be separated from Him. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how many times you’ve disobeyed. God knew we would do everything we’ve done, and He knows everything that’s still to come. But He has a plan, and absolutely nothing will stop it from happening.
Faith is important, but it goes hand in hand with obedience. We have to have faith and believe we can hear God speak, and then we have to be obedient to His voice and have faith that He will work everything out. If you think you made a wrong turn, or if you really did…no time is wasted, no experience useless, no event exempt from being used by God for good. You can’t get away from Him or His mercy.
Congratulations: since you came to Christ you’ve had a “CAUTION: forgiven and free” bumper sticker stamped on your forehead. And also a “Property of JC” somewhere.